Can RFID Be Used for Car-Racing Purposes?

By RFID Journal

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Ask The ExpertsCan RFID Be Used for Car-Racing Purposes?
RFID Journal Staff asked 11 years ago
Is it possible to utilize radio frequency identification to track race cars?

—Name withheld

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Yes. In 2004, the Indy Racing League (IRL) began using RFID to time and score the 16 races in its IndyCar Series, including the prestigious Indianapolis 500. Each car carries an AMB TranX Pro battery-powered RFID transponder that registers its time via a detection loop (RFID antenna) embedded at the track’s start-finish line. The TranX Pro MultiLoop system is manufactured by AMB i.t. of Heemstede, Netherlands. If you are an RFID Journal Premium Member, you can read the case study we wrote on this application here: RFID Gives Racing a Winning Edge.

Since 2006, Goodyear has been employing RFID to track the roughly 200,000 tires used throughout the NASCAR season at all three race series—Nextel Cup, Busch and Craftsman Truck—as part of a tire-leasing program. NASCAR organizers requested the leasing program as a means of evening the playing field (see Goodyear Using RFID for NASCAR from Cradle to Grave).

A Northern California company known as Zoomius is offering RFID-based race-timing solutions that employ passive RFID EPC Gen 2 tags and readers. At a motorcycle race held at the Reno-Fernley Raceway in August 2008, Zoomius road-tested its Titan RFID timing system, which utilizes passive RFID adhesive labels containing the M inlay (ALN-9554) manufactured by Alien Technology, as well as the Mercury 5e reader from ThingMagic. The reader feeds the tag data to Zoomius’ Tiger software, which uses a proprietary method to determine the speed and location of each vehicle as it approaches and passes a read zone (see Zoomius Takes Motorsports Timing on a New Course).

Other companies offer racing solutions that use RFID as well.

—Mark Roberti, Editor, RFID Journal

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